Pleasing Krishna - Part 21

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This is in continuation of the previous offering titled, "Pleasing Krishna" wherein we were meditating on the pastime of the appearance of Lord Vishnu in the sacrificial arena of Prthu Maharaj. In the previous offering we heard from Prthu Maharaj as to how devotional service is the only way to get out of material modes. Now we shall see further.

21. Material Benedictions are useless:
In Srimad Bhagavatam verse 4.20.30 Prthu Maharaj continues to pray 

manye giraṁ te jagatāṁ vimohinīṁ
varaṁ vṛṇīṣveti bhajantam āttha yat
vācā nu tantyā yadi te jano ’sitaḥ
kathaṁ punaḥ karma karoti mohitaḥ

My dear Lord, what You have said to Your unalloyed devotee is certainly very much bewildering. The allurements You offer in the Vedas are certainly not suitable for pure devotees. People in general, bound by the sweet words of the Vedas, engage themselves again and again in fruitive activities, enamored by the results of their actions.

Conditioned living entities in this material world are trapped by the influence of three modes of material nature in various degree. Lord as Supreme Father gives everyone a chance to come back to Him, back to Godhead. In order to cater to those who are not ready to take up the process of pure devotional service directly, Vedas prescribe the path of dharma, artha, kāma and moksha. But people who are less intelligent, simply get stuck with the karma kanda, jnana kanda activities and upasana kanda activities prescribed in Vedas and miss to understand the real purpose of the Vedas. Krishna Himself says in Bhagavad Gita verse 2.42-43

yām imāṁ puṣpitāṁ vācaṁ pravadanty avipaścitaḥ
veda-vāda-ratāḥ pārtha nānyad astīti vādinaḥ

kāmātmānaḥ svarga-parā janma-karma-phala-pradām
kriyā-viśeṣa-bahulāṁ bhogaiśvarya-gatiṁ prati

Men of small knowledge are very much attached to the flowery words of the Vedas, which recommend various fruitive activities for elevation to heavenly planets, resultant good birth, power, and so forth. Being desirous of sense gratification and opulent life, they say that there is nothing more than this.

Prthu Maharaj is therefore saying that we should not be allured by these flowery words of Vedas which are teaching the ways for getting material benefits. Such benefits are going to keep us more and more entangled in the cycle of birth and death.  In his purport to verse 4.20.30 Srila Prabhupada says, "Pṛthu Mahārāja therefore says that the allurement of material benedictions is another trap to entangle one in this material world. He therefore frankly tells the Lord that the Lord’s offerings of benedictions in the form of material facilities are certainly causes for bewilderment. A pure devotee is not at all interested in bhukti or mukti."

In Damodarashtakam verse 4, Satyavrata Muni also nicely prays

varaṁ deva mokṣaṁ na mokṣāvadhiṁ vā 
na canyaṁ vṛṇe ‘haṁ vareṣād apīha 
idaṁ te vapur nātha gopāla-bālaṁ 
sadā me manasy āvirāstāṁ kim anyaiḥ

O Lord, although You are able to give all kinds of benedictions, I do not pray to You for the boon of impersonal liberation, nor the highest liberation of eternal life in Vaikuntha, nor any other boon (which may be obtained by executing the nine processes of bhakti). O Lord, I simply wish that this form of Yours as Bala Gopala in Vrndavana may ever be manifest in my heart, for what is the use to me of any other boon besides this?

So following the footsteps of these great souls, may we understand the futility of material benedictions and seek the supreme benediction of being engaged in Lord's service always.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.